Downtowns have been hard hit by COVID: more people telecommuting and closures of office spaces translate to less patroange for downtown businesses. In some cases, even residents have moved out. Analyzing customer patterns can help economists project what we can anticipate post-pandemic. Jon predicts that cities will be more open to permitting sidewalk seating options and businesses will continue to merge public and private spaces. Jon also shared four major trends that were prominent leading up to the pandemic: mass urbanization and migration, large square footage of retail space, e-commerce businesses, and place making—a strong sense of brand identity with aesthetically pleasing, safe and walkable environments.
Jon Stover is Founder and Managing Partner of Jon Stover & Associates, specializing in real estate market analysis; fiscal and economic impact analysis; development feasibility; inter-agency coordination; and economic development strategies. An expert in neighborhood revitalization and public-private economic development initiatives, Mr. Stover is involved in helping city agencies and nonprofits such as Main Streets, BIDs and business associations.